Ex-beau ordered to repay $166,000 over investments
A 52- year- old Eureka Springs man, denounced as a con man by his ex-girlfriend, was ordered Monday to pay the woman $166,000 to reimburse her for the money she says he swindled her out of over three months last year.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce awarded Nancy Jane Farrell, 56, all that she asked for — $146,000 in losses plus $20,000 in punitive damages to cover her expenses — after Jeffery Dwight Brown offered no evidence beyond his testimony to contest her claims.
Pierce’s ruling included a determination Brown violated the Arkansas Securities Act. That finding allows Farrell’s attorneys, Pat James and Kayla Applegate, to pursue a claim against Brown for Farrell’s legal expenses.
The judge ruled Brown was in default of the lawsuit Monday because the defendant didn’t file a written response to dispute the allegations within the 30-day time limit established by the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure.
Farrell sued Brown in December, accusing him of preying on her frail health to bully her into giving him $100,000 he was supposed to invest on her behalf in the Atoka Gold exploration company in Nevada and the K Lofts development project in downtown Little Rock.
The other $46,000 went toward other potential investments Brown claimed to be researching, the suit states. The money was paid between Aug. 22 and Nov. 14.
When Farrell tried to find out where the money went, she either couldn’t discover what he used it for or found Brown invested it under his own name, according to the lawsuit.
Brown, who said he earns his living through his personal investments and as a nuclear-engineering consultant, denounced Farrell’s accusations as “absolutely false.” He said he could document everything he’d done to prove his actions were aboveboard.
Brown told the judge he was at a disadvantage because he didn’t have a lawyer and didn’t have the means to retain one.
“I’m not trained as an attorney,” he said, when told he wasn’t entitled to court-appointed representation. “I’m not prepared to represent myself.”
Brown told the judge he completely lived up to the arrangement he had with Farrell to manage her financial affairs, even after their romantic relationship turned purely professional after several months.
Brown said he was the victim because her accusations, circulated through the network of contacts he’s developed over 30 years, damaged his reputation and cost him as much as $1 million in investment opportunities.
Brown also disputed the amount Farrell was asking for, saying at least one $50,000 payment she claimed went to him was actually sent to an investment fund.